A pair of Eastern Conference teams on opposite sides of the playoff cut line do battle in the Sunshine State. The Atlanta Hawks are on the road as they make the trip to face the Toronto Raptors in their temporary home of Tampa Tuesday night. Atlanta comes in off a 105-101 road victory over Charlotte Sunday afternoon in their most recent contest. Toronto was knocked off 102-96 on the road by the Knicks in an Atlantic Division tilt Sunday in their latest contest. In the all-time regular-season series, each team has 47 victories with the Hawks taking both meetings this season. That includes a 121-120 road victory in the most recent meeting on March 11.
Atlanta Hawks Seeking to Stay HotAtlanta won their second straight and their sixth in the last seven games as they knocked off Charlotte in a back-and-forth affair Sunday on the road. The Hawks entered Monday with a half-game lead on the Heat for the top spot in the Southeast Division standings. In the Eastern Conference playoff picture, the team held the fourth seed but they were just one game ahead of seventh-seeded Boston for a guaranteed playoff spot. On Sunday, Atlanta led by as many as 17 with 4:15 to play in the first quarter, by 13 after one and by seven at halftime. The Hawks trailed by two after three quarters and went cold in the fourth, finding themselves down 10 with 7:16 to play. Atlanta regrouped by outscoring Charlotte 23-9 the rest of the way to earn the win. The Hawks shot 45.2% from the field, including 17 of 39 from three-point range, and won the battle of the boards 41-38. Bogdan Bogdanovic led Atlanta with 32 points to lead the Hawks, who were without Trae Young, who was out with a calf contusion.
The Hawks enter this contest 12th in scoring offense by averaging 113.4 points per game. Atlanta is 8th in rebounding by collecting 45.3 boards a night while the team stands 20th by dishing out 24.3 assists per contest. Atlanta is 11th in the league in scoring defense as they allow opponents to score 111.3 points per game this season. Trae Young leads the team with 25.4 points and 9.5 assists per game this season. John Collins puts up 18.2 points plus 7.8 rebounds a night. De’Andre Hunter chips in 16 points a game while Kevin Huerter (11.7 points) and Cam Reddish (11.2 points) are averaging in double figures. Clint Capela (15.3 points, 14.1 rebounds), Bogdan Bogdanovic (13.3 points), Danilo Gallinari (13.4 points), Lou Williams (12.2 points), Tony Snell, Solomon Hill, Brandon Goodwin and Bruno Fernando are key rotation pieces for coach Nate McMillan. Atlanta is 17th in the league in field goal percentage by hitting 46.4% of their shots from the floor this season. The Hawks are 15th in threes per game as they hit 12.6 per contest and stand 11th in three-point percentage as they hit 37.2% of their attempts from beyond the arc.
Collins (ankle) is out at least another few days while Reddish (Achilles) is out until mid-to-late April. Hunter underwent a non-surgical procedure on his knee and is expected to return in the next few days. Dunn continues to rehab from offseason ankle surgery and has yet to make his season debut while Snell is out with an ankle injury. Gallinari (foot) is doubtful while Young (calf) is questionable here, really denting the depth of the Hawks.
Toronto Raptors Hoping to Gain Ground in Playoff PictureToronto lost their third game in the last four as they were knocked off on the road by the Knicks Sunday. The Raptors are in the basement of the Atlantic Division standings, 15.5 games behind the 76ers and Nets for the top spot in the division race. In the Eastern Conference playoff picture, the team stood 11th, two games behind 10th-place Chicago for the final spot in the play-in tournament. Toronto staged a rally Sunday but couldn’t sustain that push in crunch time to wind up with the loss. The Raptors trailed by 11 after the opening quarter, by as many as 18 in the first half and by 14 at intermission. Toronto cut the deficit to two after three quarters and rallied to lead by four with seven minutes to play. The Raptors then gave up a 9-0 run over the next three-plus minutes to trail 92-87 with 3:24 to play and couldn’t get closer than one after that. Toronto shot 41.8% from the field, including 11 of 34 from three-point range, and lost the rebounding battle 46-40. Gary Trent Jr. led the Raptors with 23 points in the loss.
"Comin' for ya" pic.twitter.com/IjvIX4ko2E— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) April 12, 2021
On the season, Toronto stands 18th in scoring offense as they put up an average of 112.1 points per game this season. The Raptors are 30th in rebounding with 41.2 boards a night while they are 19th by dishing out an average of 24.4 assists a night. Toronto stands 14th in scoring defense as they allow an average of 111.6 points a night. Fred VanVleet is second on the team with 19.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 6.1 assists a night. Pascal Siakam puts up 20.6 points plus 7.1 rebounds per game while Kyle Lowry adds 17.1 points and 7.3 assists per game. OG Anunoby (14.6 points) and Chris Boucher (13.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, two blocks) are averaging in double figures. Rodney Hood, Gary Trent Jr. (15.6 points) and Aron Baynes are all looked at to help Nick Nurse’s squad. The Raptors are 25th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 44.9% from the floor as a team. Toronto stands third by knocking down 14.9 three-pointers a night while they are 13th in three-point field goal percentage as they sink 37% of their attempts on the season.
VanVleet (hip) remains questionable after missing the last few games.
The top trends for this contest are:
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Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Atlanta has been hot of late and they got by Charlotte in their most recent game. However, missing a trio of their top scorers is going to be problematic. Throw in that a fourth is doubtful and a fifth is questionable adds further murkiness to the waters for the Hawks here. Toronto has dropped three of four coming into this game but they are a bit healthier than the Hawks for this contest. If the Raptors want to get back in the playoff picture, they need to start picking up some victories. Facing an Atlanta team that is seriously compromised due to injury woes is a prime chance for them to come through. Look for Siakam and Lowry, along with Trent Jr., to do enough to come up with the win here.
Full-Game Total Pick
Atlanta is 24th in the league in pace with 97.4 possessions a night on the year. Tempo will go a long way to determining how this one pans out. Toronto is a middle-of-the-road defensive team so we’ll see how they pan out. The Raptors are 12th in the league in tempo with 99.6 possessions a night on the year. With that said, Toronto sees much lower totals at home (220.4 ppg) than on the road (226.5 ppg) this season. We’re looking at a battle of attrition here for certain and it’s going to be a grind. With both teams dealing with injury woes and depleted offensive production, this one ends up under the total.